Sam Adams, who played 14 seasons in the National Football League and is now the owner of six Oregon Athletic Clubs in Oregon and Washington state,faces a multitude of allegations, including not paying his employees, not paying state taxes and not allowing members to cancel their memberships.
The issues have been reported in Tacoma, WA, where Adams' Lincoln Plaza Athletic Club is located, as well as the Portland, OR, area, where Adams' Duniway Athletic Club was evicted after it closed this past summer.
The Tacoma News Tribune reported last week that eight current and former employees have told the newspaper that they have had payment issues for several weeks. One former employee says she knows of 40 employees who have not been paid and is planning to meet with a local attorney to help them file formal complaints with Washington's Department of Labor and Industries.
Adams bought the Tacoma club in the summer of 2012 from its former operator, Allstar Fitness.
Public records obtained by the News Tribune show that the Lincoln Plaza Athletic Club owes the state of Washington almost $73,000 in unpaid taxes, as well as almost $23,000 to Pierce County for taxes during the time Adams has owned the gym. County records show the last payment it received was in November 2009, according to the newspaper.
The Portland Oregonian reported that the landlord for the Duniway club evicted the club after the rent check bounced. Adams' Washington-based company also did not pay the club's heating bill, the newspaper reported.
Portland TV station KATU attempted to speak with Adams after an eviction trial last month at Multnomah County (OR) Courthouse, but Adams had no comment. In an earlier interview, Adams had told the TV station that the club was closed for renovations.
KATU also reported that the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has an open investigation after it received at least 10 complaints from employees in the last few months, and the Oregon Department of Justice has at least three open cases.
Furthermore, at least seven members have complained that they are not able to stop their payments, the station reported.
"[Members] don't have a problem canceling or freezing their month to month membership," Adams told KATU in a phone interview. "We never had that issue."
According to recent KATU reports,Adams and Oregon Athletic Clubs have resolved some billing and payment issues with members and employees.
There are four Oregon Athletic Clubs locations in Oregon and two in Washington state. Willamette Week, a weekly publication in Portland, reported last month that the Seattle Athletic Club is suing Adams for trademark infringement in federal court after the name of the former Allstar Fitness club in Seattle was changed to West Seattle Athletic Club.
Adams and Don Pak, president of Oregon Athletic Clubs, have not immediately returned a message to Club Industry.
Adams played for six NFL teams, most notably the Seattle Seahawks from 1994 to 1999. He was the eighth overall pick by the Seahawks in the 1994 NFL Draft. A three-time Pro Bowland two-time All-Pro defensive tackle, Adams helped the Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl after the 2000 season.